Roger Federer Passes First Real Test at French Open 2021, Defeats Marin Cilic in Drama-Filled Match

Published 06/03/2021, 12:49 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates winning his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


We’re into the second round of the French Open 2021 and it was Swiss maestro Roger Federer up against Marin Cilic in the second round. Both players have competed against each other several times and it has mostly been the Basel-born player who has ended up on the winning side. This time was no different as after 2 hours and 35 minutes, Roger Federer won the match today 6-2, 2-6,7-6 (4), 6-2.

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Set 1: Roger Federer sweeps past the Croatian player 

Both players held their opening service games. In the third game, Roger Federer got the early break, giving himself to advantage in the set. The 39-year-old upped the ante and broke his opponent for the second time. 

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After 32 minutes into the match, the Swiss ace held his serve to seal the opening set 6-2. In the end, it was Marin Cilic’s 12 unforced that dented his opportunities. Overall, Federer won 29 points whereas Cilic won 21 points.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021, Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his second round match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Set 2: Marin Cilic proves too heavy for the Swiss star

The Croatian player fought his way back into the match. During the set, he was attacking Federer on his backhand and capitalized on the situation.

In the middle of the set, Roger received a time violation, which led to a lengthy argument with the chair umpire. The chats continued, and it did have a negative effect on the Swiss player. 

During the set, Marin broke Roger twice and the 20-time Grand Slam winner failed to take his chances on the Croatian players’ serve.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021, Croatia’s Marin Cilic in action during his second round match against Switzerland’s Roger Federer REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Set 3: Roger Federer bounces back from a costly error 

As the third set began, both players got off to a shaky start. In the third game, Federer broke the Croat and was on cruise control. He had an opportunity to get the double break and stamp his authority but committed a costly unforced error only to allow Cilic to hold his service game.

Marin Cilic capitalized on the moment and broke the Swiss athlete to level things at 3-3. Both players held their service games, and the set had to be decided in a tiebreaker. The Swiss star got the mini-break on the third point and held his serve to take eventually seal the set in his favor, 7-6 (4).

Set 4: Roger Federer finishes off the match in style

Federer opened proceedings in the fourth set and held his serve. In the fourth game, the Swiss got the needed break and consolidated by holding serve in the next game. 

In the end, the Swiss broke the Croat twice. After a roller coaster ride today, it will be interesting to see how Federer performs in the next match.

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Watch this story: Shocking!: Bianca Andreescu, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, And Others’ First-Round Exits at French Open 2021

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Rohan Kollare

695 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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